Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute

Seamounts 2007
June 17 - June 24, 2007

June 19th, 2007

Click on any name to read an interview from the expedition participants

Dave Clague, Lonny Lundsten, Jenny Paduan, Iain Faichney, Craig R. McClain, Chris Myrvold, UC Davis; Laura Wetter, UC Davis; Laura Rademacher, University of the Pacific; Kristina Faul, Mills College; Elizabeth Griffith, Stanford University; Kathie Marsaglia, CSU Northridge



Dave Clague, Ph.D.
 
MBARI Senior Scientist
http://www.mbari.org/staff/clague

What is your role on this cruise?
I will be the Chief Scientist on this cruise.

What are your primary goals?
We are trying to learn how, when and why volcanoes formed near the California margin. To do this, we collect rock samples that we can age-date to determine the when part. We also analyze the rocks to determine their chemistry that tells us about how deep the magmas were generated and what melted under what conditions to form the magmas. We also look at the samples and the outcrops on the seafloor to determine what the eruptions were like--was the lava effusive or explosive. Lastly, we want to understand why the volcanoes formed and how they relate to the evolution of the margin of California during and after the time when the San Andreas fault system formed. We will also explore a relatively fluid lava flow we discovered last year near the summit of Davidson using the MBARI Mapping AUV. The new high-resolution data shows what appears to be a young fluid flow that partly filled a depression between several volcanic cones. This flow is thin (and therefore fluid) and may represent an eruption much younger than the 9.8 to 14.8 million year old ones we have sampled previously. At San Juan Seamount, where we shall also return late in the cruise, one of the flows we dated erupted 2.7 million years ago, about 16 million years after the oldest dated flow. The duration of volcanic activity on these seamounts is unlike anything seen on other seamounts in the Pacific and is probably tied to tectonic changes along California margin. Our three dives on the Patton Escarpment will also be trying to determine a different part of the same story of tectonic changes along the California margin by looking at the volcanic history of the margin itself.

What do you expect to find?

Mn-covered lava and volcaniclastic deposits. Maybe some beach cobble or sand deposits on the shallower seamounts. Lots of animals living on the rocks. A young lava flow on Davidson Seamount, and the fault-dismembered interior of a volcano along the Patton Escarpment.

What is your favorite/least favorite part of a research cruise?
My favorite part of a research cruise is the intensity of new discoveries and incorporating what we have just seen into the plans for the rest of the dive or the next dives. Worst part is dealing with bad weather that can prevent our planned programs from happening.

What is your job title? Why did you decide to become one? And how did you become one?
I am a Senior Scientist at MBARI. I love finding out how the world works and wanted to get paid to do it. I took lots of science and math classes in high school and college and majored in geology, then on to graduate school in oceanography.


Lonny Lundsten 
MBARI

http://www.mbari.org/staff/lonny/

What is your role on this cruise?
Biologist, Video Lab Technician

What are your primary goals?
On this cruise I will be in charge of biological sample collection and processing. I will also be directing the quantitative sampling of biological observations. Specifically we’ll be collecting ROV video transects from a variety of depths on each seamount that we explore. I am also in charge of the video data management. This work entails identifying unique biological and geological features that will be seen during the dive, while using MBARI designed software to log the observations. Additionally, I will be preserving and organizing many of the biological samples collected during the cruise, preparing them for identification and further analysis by MBARI scientists and our research collaborator’s.

What do you expect to find?
On almost every seamount expedition we have found many new species of corals, sponges, worms, and seastars – I expect that we’ll find many new species on this cruise as well. I am also hoping to use the quantitative transect data that we collect to determine species abundance and distribution at several different depths on each seamount.

What is your favorite/least favorite part of a research cruise?
The most exciting part of a research expedition like this is seeing an animal that no one has ever seen before. With our new high definition camera this is even more exciting!

What is your job title? Why did you decide to become one? And how did you become one?
Video Lab Technician. I’ve always had a love for the ocean and have wanted to learn more about it and the creatures that inhabit it. I’m also a bit of a tech-junky. MBARI gives me the opportunity to pursue my interests to the utmost. I received a B.S. in Marine & Coastal Ecology at CSU, Monterey Bay and I am currently pursuing an M.S. at Moss Landing Marine Laboratories, where I am studying the biology of several seamounts found off the coast of California.


Craig R. McClain (The R stands for rascal) 
MBARI

Blog: http://scienceblogs.com/deepseanews/

What is your role on the cruise?
I will be one the marine biologists aboard.

What are your primary goals?
My primary goal is characterize the biodiversity of seamounts. Ultimately, we hope to characterize how that varies spatially among different seamounts and on individual seamounts.

What do you expect to find?
One of the greatest parts of deep-sea research is the high probability to see something unexpected, to discover something new.  I expect we will see extraordinary coral and sponge fields loaded with invertebrates.  I also hoping to find a rare nudibranch, or seaslug, that we collected previously on seamount expeditions and potentially a scientifically undescribed species.

What is your favorite/least favorite part of a research cruise? 
A freezer stocked with ice cream. Seriously, my favorite thing about being at sea is the ability to explore. After several years of doing this, I still spend most of my time at sea in awe. I have a bit of a sailor's heart so I look forward to daily ship life and the ocean air. Least Favorite: 6 foot long bunks.

What is your job title? Why did you decide to become one? And how did you become one?
Postdoctoral Fellow which is like being a medical resident, have the degree but still need some guidance from my seniors.  More generally, I am a marine biologist.  I realized in college that someone might actually pay me to play in the ocean.  A B.A. in Biology and Ph.D. in Environmental Biology and here I am.


Jennifer Paduan
MBARI Senior Research Technician

Webpage: http://www.mbari.org/staff/paje/

What is your role on this cruise?
General science support: prepping all the lab supplies before the cruise and shipping everything home at the end; preparing the real-time GIS beforehand, using it during dives to track where the ROV is on our bathymetric maps, and making dive track maps afterward; annotating the ROV video during dives; making sure the samples don't get mixed up when the sample drawer gets emptied on deck; and then cleaning, photographing, and bagging the samples afterward. When we get home the real work with the samples and analytical data begins!

What are your primary goals?
That everything runs smoothly. My wishes: That we get to all the dive targets we are planning and can collect all the samples we hope to find.

What do you expect to find?
I expect to find manganese-covered, weathered, old lava, and lots of animals exploiting the lava's hard substrate and lofty position in the ocean currents. I hope we find a younger flow at Davidson. If we're really lucky, we'll find Architeuthis, the elusive giant squid!

What is your favorite/least favorite part of a research cruise?
Favorite: the excitement of new discoveries, piecing together scientific puzzles, exploration. Least favorite: getting seasick.

What is your job title? Why did you decide to become one? And how did you become one?
I have always loved science: What are the plants around me, the animals, rocks, landforms, the stars? What are they made of? How did they get to be the way they are? What makes them function and persist? How are we impacting them? I love the interdisciplinary nature of Oceanography: to understand the ecology of an animal, you must also understand the chemistry, physics, and geology of its habitat. When I was young, I wanted to study volcanoes, then to become an astronomer, then a veterinarian. I was a biochemistry major at a liberal arts college, and went to graduate school to study marine biochemical ecology. Fortunately, along the way I took several geology courses, because my path has taken me full circle back to studying volcanoes! 


Laura Wetter 
Department of Geology, UC Davis

What is your role on this cruise?
My role on this cruise will be to catalog and organize coral samples recovered by the ROV, and to make sure that they are ready to be transported back to onshore labs for analysis.

What are your primary goals?
My goal is to accurately categorize of all the samples that we find so that they can be used to study past variations in deep ocean temperature.

What do you expect to find?
Lots of corals, hopefully!

What is your favorite/least favorite part of a research cruise?
My favorite part is discovering new things; my least favorite part is taking lots of anti-seasickness medication.

What is your job title? Why did you decide to become one? And how did you become one?
I am a graduate student in Geology at UC Davis. I have wanted to be a physical scientist ever since my first field study to the Eastern Sierra Nevada – one of the best places in the world to see some totally awesome rocks. I took a lot of science and math classes, got a B.S. in Geology and am now working on the M.S. Soon my collection will be complete!


Chris Myrvold
UC Davis

What is your role on this cruise?
I am selecting bamboo corals to sample for geochemical analysis as part of my Masters project at UC Davis.

What are your primary goals?
My goal on this cruise is to acquire a set of bamboo coral samples from a suite of varying depths and locations that are of suitable size for comprehensive geochemical analysis. These coral samples will be used in paleoclimate and paleoceanographic applications.

What do you expect to find?
Hopefully what I've set out to find! I expect that I will have enough bamboo coral samples from this trip to construct a geochemical profile of these corals and the waters they represent with respect to both depth and location.

What is your favorite/least favorite part of a research cruise?

This is my first research cruise. I look forward to the challenge of working in a lab that moves around and hope I don't get seasick.

What is your job title? Why did you decide to become one? And how did you become one?
I am a Masters student in geology at UC Davis. My primary focus is marine geochemistry and paleoclimatology/paleoceanography. My interest in these fields stemmed from my interest in isotope geochemistry, both stable and radiogenic. My undergraduate work at DePauw University was on the trace element and isotopic composition of calcite-apatite vein-dyke complexes in Ontario, Canada, which cultivated my interest in isotope geochemistry. I then chose to pursue stable isotope geochemistry applications as a Masters project, which led me to UC Davis.


Iain Faichney
MBARI Intern
 

What is your role on this cruise?

General science support. I will be observing and helping in whatever capacity I can: processing samples, running the Gravity Corer, taking notes, dive GIS etc.    .

What are your primary goals?
My goals are to learn as much as possible, and do whatever I can to help to make this a successful cruise for both Dave and Tessa.

What do you expect to find? What is your favorite/least favorite part of a research cruise?
Favourite: going to sea to look at and partake in interesting things. I love the ocean – I always have and I always will.
Least Favourite: 

What is your job title? Why did you decide to become one? And how did you become one? 
I am currently undertaking my PhD at JCU in Townsville, Australia and this internship with MBARI is a part of that. I am studying the drowned reef terraces of the Maui-Nui Complex in Hawaii, and am at sea on this cruise learning the fieldwork and sampling techniques of this type of marine geology.
I have a background in basin analysis and petroleum geology. Much of my offshore work as a petroleum geologist was involved with carbonate sediments as reservoirs. My interests have always lain in the marine environment - I love the sea. I got into this field to combine my interest in both the ocean and geology. I studied geology and basin analysis at RMIT University before starting my doctorate at JCU.



Laura Rademacher 
University of the Pacific - Geosciences

http://web.pacific.edu/x22354.xml

What is your role on this cruise?
My roles during the cruise include helping to guide coral collection, processing coral and water samples, taking notes, and helping out the scientists on board.

What are your primary goals?
My primary goals are to help gather unique coral and water samples from a range of environments on and around the seamounts, learn as much as possible about seamounts, their biota, and operations on the Western Flyer, be as helpful as possible to the other scientists, and try not to fall overboard!!

What do you expect to find?
I expect to find lots of geology and biology I've never seen before.  We expect to see seamounts of a variety of ages and sizes, multiple genera of corals, and hopefully something that has never been observed before...this is my maiden voyage (other than whale watching and the occasional ferry ride), so I expect that my first views of the deep sea through the Tiburon are going to be amazing.

What is your favorite/least favorite part of a research cruise?
Favorite: Everything!  But, especially participating in and learning about everyone's research projects.
Least favorite:  the potential for getting sea sick!!

What is your job title? Why did you decide to become one? And how did you become one?
I am an assistant professor of Geosciences at the University of the Pacific.  After I took my first class in geology as an undergraduate, I was hooked!  Who knew there was a field of study where you could spend most of your time outdoors, traveling the world, and answering all kinds of questions about the way the earth works.  I earned a BS in geology from the University of Wisconsin - Madison (Go Badgers!) and a PhD in geological sciences from the University of California in Santa Barbara.  As a professor, I am able to do the two things I love the most - study geology and share my excitement about the earth and the environment with others...I can't believe I get paid to do this!


Kristina Faul 
Chemistry, Mills College

http://www.mills.edu/academics/faculty/chem/kfaul/kfaul.php

What is your role on this cruise?
On this cruise, I will be a marine geochemist/paleoceanographer helping to collect, describe, and preserve deep sea corals as part of Dr. Tessa Hill’s “Coral Team.”

What are your primary goals?
My primary goals are to (1) reconstruct changes in nutrients and productivity in the past oceans as recorded in the corals and sediments we will recover and to (2) enjoy the process of recovering these samples at sea!

What do you expect to find?
Lots of ancient deep sea corals, fascinating new organisms, cool geology and technology.

What is your favorite/least favorite part of a research cruise?
My favorite parts of a research cruise are being a part of an exploratory voyage, collaborating with other scientists, and experiencing the ocean (which comprises 70% of our planet!). My least favorite part is being away from home and family.

What is your job title? Why did you decide to become one? And how did you become one?
Assistant Professor. I decided to become a professor because I think having an academic career is the perfect combination of scholarship and service. On the scholarship side, I am fascinated by reconstructing ocean history using information recovered from cores deep below the bottom of the ocean. On the service side, I enjoy mentoring and preparing students to tackle our future environmental problems as future scientists.
I became a professor through perseverance, hard work, and having good mentors. As a teenager, I studied math and science at Phillips Andover Academy. As an undergraduate at MIT, I majored in Earth & Planetary Sciences and discovered the field of paleoceanography. After a year as a research assistant at WHOI, I knew I wanted to pursue graduate studies. I completed a Ph.D. in Earth Sciences at the University of California, Santa Cruz in 2001. Subsequently, I was a post-doctoral researcher at Stanford, and began my job at Mills in 2003. At each of these steps in my life, I had one or two mentors who helped me along and encouraged me to continue.


Elizabeth Griffith 
Graduate student, Stanford University

What is your role on this cruise?
Sampling coral and handling any cores that we are able to collect.

What are your primary goals?
My primary goal is to be as helpful to the rest of the scientific crew as possible.  I also hope to return with samples that can be used as environmental archives

What do you expect to find?
Many different types of cold water coral and marine life.  And pools of sediment amongst the volcanic rocks.

What is your favorite/least favorite part of a research cruise?
Both my favorite and least favorite part of this research cruise is that it is my maiden voyage.

What is your job title? Why did you decide to become one? And how did you become one?
I am a graduate student at Stanford, finishing my PhD which has looked at geochemical tracers of changes in ocean chemistry.  I chose to work in this field of science because of my interest in understanding environmental changes in Earth's past.  I studied geology at the University of Missouri-Rolla as an undergraduate and my interests led me back to school as a graduate student after I worked for a couple years as a field engineer. 


Kathie Marsaglia 
Assistant Professor, Geological Sciences
California State University Northridge

What is your role on this cruise?

Marine sedimentologist

What are your primary goals?
1) to learn about the volcanic, sedimentologic and tectonic history of the California Borderlands
2) to learn about ROV technology and MBARI

What do you expect to find?
I hope to find lots of interesting sediments and sedimentary rocks.

What is your favorite/least favorite part of a research cruise?

  • observing things that no one has seen before and trying to explain them
  • the smell of the ocean
  • meeting new people and learning about different disciplines/technologies
    least favorites
  • waking up to go on shift
  • stormy seas
  • What is your job title? Why did you decide to become one? And how did you become one?

    I enjoy deciphering the mysteries of the deep from the sedimentary record. I got here only with the support of family, professors and colleagues plus some luck and a lot of hard work.